Why to vote “yes” for MPIRG

By Louise Sharrow

On April 6, Mac students will have the chance to vote on whether to continue our chapter of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), a completely student-run, statewide nonprofit.

For 35 years, students have worked through MPIRG to create social change, putting power back into the hands of the people through issue education and lobbying efforts. Examples include MPIRG sponsorship of the annual production of the Vagina Monologue, as well as working to bring more Fair Trade and sweat-free products to campus, reduce our energy use in Dorm Wars, participate in changing the government process through the Fair and Clean Elections campaign (FACE), and various other projects.

The reason MPIRG can continue to function on this large scale is the transferable fee, $3 per student per semester from the mandatory student activity fee. Every semester, students who oppose what MPIRG does are able to transfer their fee dollars back to MCSG by signing and returning a slip that is SPO-ed to all students. The fee gives MPIRG students the stability to undertake long-term issues as well as hire a professional staff to give students the training to become better lobbyists or organizers.

Since MPIRG began in 1971, Minnesota students have gained valuable civic skills and have effectively advocated for solutions to serious problems within our society. Leaders such as MN House Minority Leader Matt Entenza were members of MPIRG as students, and cite MPIRG as an important springboard for their careers in politics and social activism, teaching them the skills they needed to be involved in the political process.

Please keep the organization that trains tomorrow’s organizers and leaders at Macalester and vote YES for MPIRG on Thursday, April 6.

Contact Louise Sharrow ’09 at [email protected]